Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Christmas Memory: Why I Hate A Certain Holiday Song

And I mean hate with a capital F-U, Christmas Song! Really, really. It makes my skin crawl now...

In 2004, I worked at student newspaper as an advisor. In El Paso. Circulation...about 10,000. (I'm making the point that we weren't the damn New York Times or Washington Post...we were a college paper and most of the damn students there didn't even read us most weeks...true story. Jerks!)

One week, we did a bundle of Christmas stories. Most creative gifts. Best memories. Favorite holiday songs. You know...the usual.

Things were going well, it was a week before Christmas and we were done for the semester. (It was AWESOME!) I was in the office, most of the students were gone for the holidays. And then it came....the call.

I answered the phone and the voice on the other end asked, nay...demanded to speak to someone in charge. Being middle management, but not a student, I stupidly said I was. (Bad, bad move and I have since learned from my mistakes. I am never in charge...even when I am in charge.)

This woman, with a speaking voice that was shrill and tinny to begin with, launched into a tirade, demanding that we print an IMMEDIATE correction about one of our stories.

The writer (and it had slipped past me, too) had attributed "Santa Baby" to Marilyn Monroe (MM had never, in fact, recorded the song) and he had listed it as one of his favorite songs.

The silly rabbit on the other end of the line tried to point out to me that SHE, in fact, had made the song famous. In 1997. Her. It was all her. Nobody had ever heard the song before she recorded it in her basement or whatever Bush League method she'd concocted. Point was, SHE was famous, dammit, and we better recognize her. (Oh, contraire, mon frer....thought I....)

Sounding like an 80-year-old chain smoking emphysema patient, she SHRIEKED about how incompetent we were. She was calling from Hollywood. She was calling her lawyers. She was going to sue us. She demanded satisfaction. NOW. (For what? I asked. Not attributing it to Eartha Kitt? Because nobody had ever heard her name around that newsroom before...)

As she rattled on and on and on and on and on... (I kid you NOT, dear reader), I spent the time I should have been taking her seriously and I googled her. (OH, how I "heart" you Google.)

ChickyBoom had herself a nice little Web site...more like a virtual altar she'd constructed to herself to pay homage to the fact that she'd recorded a version of a stupid Christmas song that had made it into that awful movie "Party Monster." (Who freakin' cares, woman?) She peppered her bio with great big, shiny superlatives like "incredible vocalist" and "fantastically talented" and "gorgeous former hair model" (what the hell are those, anyway?) and she's got one of those names that should probably sound the way it reads. You know, how that crazy lady on the BBC show "Keeping Up Appearances" is named Bucket, but demands people pronounce it "bouquet?" Yep. She's totally one of those. *gag*

So I offered to correct the mistake and attribute the song to Eartha Kitt. No? How about Madonna? Madonna did a great version... No? Ummm...Sheryl Crow! Sheryl Crow did it, too. No?(Yes, I was trying to piss her off on purpose.)

By the end of the conversation (it lasted at least 30 minutes with this self-aggrandizing nightmare), I had her on speaker phone and had the other poor slobs at work laughing at just how ANGRY and DEMANDING and NASTY this kitten was. Shrieking and threatening and just so out of the holiday spirit.

At one point I even asked her, "How the hell did you find this article? It's from a newspaper on a college campus in the middle of the desert? Do you troll any media outlet you can find for any single mention of "Santa Baby?"

I can't remember her response, but I'm sure it was angry. And hilarious.

And so, tonight, as Boy Wonder works on his new lego set (Thanks, Nana!), we have the music channel playing holiday music and Madonna's version of "Santa Baby" came on a couple hours ago. It came on again a couple minutes ago...sung by Eartha Kitt herself.

I guess all that hard work harassing newspapers and journalists got SuperCrazy nowhere. Not even the "Sounds of the Season" channel recognizes her "major contribution to pop culture"....


PS....Yes, I fully expect to somehow recieve a pissed off e-mail from this woman. I'm quite certain she's got the words "Santa Baby" locked down on Google Alerts. And yes...I'll post her nasty letter in full here for you to enjoy it as much as I'm sure I will. :)

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